Report on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service's planning and preparedness for COVID-19 (Light Touch Review)
A desktop review of documentation, subsequent supporting evidence and Skype interviews carried out with SFRS senior managers, on preparedness for a COVID-19 response has been undertaken, to provide assurance to the Director for Safer Communities on behalf of the SG.
The review concentrated on three specific areas; Governance, Operational Service Delivery and Critical Support Functions to ensure the Service maintained its Operational effectiveness during a difficult period of uncertainty that has the potential to last for an extended period.
HM Fire Service Inspectorate believes there is good evidence to support the SFRS's strategic planning assumptions and the necessary mitigation that will enable the Service to deliver its statutory duties.
This evidence is summarised in the key findings below:
- We recognise that there has been a significant amount of work undertaken to consider the wider implications to the SFRS and the communities it serves during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has resulted in a robust planning process that has involved the SG, Civil Contingency partners, key stakeholders and other agencies.
- We believe the SFRS has identified the most appropriate risks associated with COVID-19 that could have a detrimental impact on its operational planning assumptions and Service Delivery.
- In the creation of a suite of supporting documentation including, policies and procedures the SFRS has put the necessary mitigation in place to reduce the risks identified to an acceptable and manageable level.
- There is a robust governance structure, including regular updates and briefings provided through a comprehensive reporting protocol to all stakeholders and staff on the Service's COVID-19 operational and resilience preparedness.
- It is evident that planning has also taken place to reduce the potential risk to critical support functions and how they impact on Service Delivery.
- Consideration has been given to an important and targeted Community Safety Strategy, recognising that people's lifestyles and workplaces may have materially changed during this period of lockdown.
- Ongoing risks and issues are logged and taken forward by SFRS Gold Commanders through various platforms for multi-agency consideration and ultimately Scottish Government assistance where required.
Simon Routh-Jones QFSM
HM Chief Inspector
Inspection Support Manager